Building Digital Video Games at School: A Design-Based Study of Teachers’ Design of Instruction and Learning Tasks to Promote Student Intellectual Engagement, Deep Learning and Development of 21st Century Competencies
With the continuous impact of advancing technologies on learning environments and today’s students, one of the challenges faced by K-12 educators in some Canadian schools is to find innovative pedagogies to intellectually engage students in deep learning of curriculum content and to promote the development and use of 21st century competencies. In an attempt to address this challenge, an intervention, the design and building of digital video games, was collaboratively implemented and explored by a research design team—the researcher, two grade 6 teachers, their students (100) and a professional development leader at a charter school in Calgary, Alberta. This intervention taps into the interest that many students already have in video games and tends to support the learning styles of today’s students. Employing one macro-cycle of the design-based research process, this intervention was adopted into the educational context, explored through the implementation of three learning tasks: game concept development, storyboarding and programming, and assessed as a potential innovative pedagogy to address the problem. This study was guided by two research questions, which focused on: (1) the ways in which teachers’ design of instruction and learning tasks need to shift to implement the intervention; and (2) the impact of the intervention on students’ intellectual engagement, deep learning of curriculum content and the development and use of 21st century competencies. Findings revealed that (1) teachers needed to employ more interaction modes to collaborate and communicate during these tasks; use extensive coaching and scaffolding; continuously use various forms of assessments with feedback loops to assess students’ progress; and use extensive conceptual and divergent thinking; and (2) as students/groups participated in these tasks’ activities, the storyboarding task seemed to represent the area of deepest learning of the curriculum content and highest intellectual engagement, and students seemed to become more proficient in all the 21st century competencies. An assessment of the findings also revealed that the intervention qualifies as a potential and developing effective innovative pedagogy for deep learning, and that findings are significant for informing K-12 educators, school jurisdictions and Alberta Education on the impact and implications of game design-based learning, in school.
Lambert, D. (2016). Building Digital Video Games at School: A Design-Based Study of Teachers’ Design of Instruction and Learning Tasks to Promote Student Intellectual Engagement, Deep Learning and Development of 21st Century Competencies (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/25182